A DECADE after mobile phones began to spread in Africa, they have become commonplace even in the continent’s poorest countries. In 2016 two-fifths of people in sub-Saharan Africa had mobile phones. Their rapid spread has beaten all sorts of odds. In most African countries, less than half the population has access to electricity.
“The world remains a world of squares and towers,” concludes Niall Ferguson, after skipping across 500 years in about as many pages. The square — the town square, the market square — represents social networks, “the structures that human beings naturally form”. The tower represents hierarchical control and secular authority, the top-down approach to social […]
“IN THE end, it is not the years in your life that count. It is the life in your years,” goes the saying. Many people fear that a trade-off between the two is inevitable: they may live to a very old age, but their final years may be spent in wretched health.
ON SUNDAY, November 5th, shortly after the start of morning service, a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. At least 26 people died, and around 20 more were injured.
Forget Fermat’s last theorem. The most vexing challenge in mathematics just might be the Monty Hall problem. Monty Hall — born Monte Halparin — presented nearly 5,000 episodes of Let’s Make a Deal, the US game show that inspired the puzzle. It is an onion of a conundrum; layer after layer, and guaranteed to make […]